HC stays action against Muslim youth who married Hindu girl

The Gujarat High Court Wednesday stayed criminal proceedings against an Ahmedabad-based Muslim who was booked by police under the provisions of Freedom of Religion Act for allegedly converting a Hindu girl to Islam and marrying her.

A single-judge bench of Justice K M Thaker passed the order in this regard while acting on a petition moved by the accused, identified as Mohsin Abdul Kadar Pathan (22), a resident of Danilimda area of Ahmedabad.

The next hearing in the matter has been kept for February 11.

Pathan's lawyer Mukul Sinha said his client had married a Hindu girl in October last year after they fell in love during college days. However, the girl's father wrote to the Home Minister stating his daughter had got married to a Muslim and registered his opposition to any possible application by her to convert to Islam under the provisions of the Freedom of Religion Act. Sinha said that at the time of marriage, the girl had given an affidavit to the Maulvi who solemnised their marriage declaring she wanted to get married as per Islamic rituals.

"The application was transferred to the Ahmedabad collector, who ordered the police to register an offence under the provisions of the Freedom of Religion Act. Accordingly, the Karanj police booked four persons Pathan, the Maulvi who solemnised the marriage, and two other witnesses," said Sinha.

While the two witnesses and the Maulvi have been arrested, Pathan had been evading arrest and was able to move his petition seeking that criminal proceedings against him be quashed.

"The FIR itself is bogus and there is no case of conversion against Pathan. We have also argued that following the marriage, the couple is even having a four-month-old daughter now," Sinha said.

The High Court has also issued a notice to the state government.

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